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Piva Canyon Montenegro

Montenegro through the Lens

Jereza_Piva-1

From the turquoise waters of the Piva River to the quiet mountain roads overlooking valleys, we pedaled through Montenegro in pure delight. Avoiding the coast and its hoards of tourists, we stuck to the hills, which were certainly not lacking in this tiny country.

Our first day welcomed us with a steep, unabating pass through the stunning Piva Canyon, complete with 12% grades and 59 tunnels, by my count. Fifty nine! Carved into the mountainside with exposed rock, most lasted a few dozen meters, hardly long enough to dip my glasses below eye level in order to see the road. One caught us off guard when we found ourselves in the pitch black, fumbling for our headlamp while we listened to the roar of a car approaching from behind. That caused a bit of panic.

This was the bridge that began our journey through the 59 tunnels.
This was the bridge that began our journey through the 59 tunnels.

It seems we flew through this country, spending just over a week getting to know its people, culture, and land. Though we spent such a short time in Montenegro, I appreciate the view from the saddle, slowly traveling through the innards that we would never otherwise see behind the wheel of a car. Cycle touring offers visitors the opportunity to truly see a place.

As I reflected on our journey through Montenegro, I realized that we had escaped without a proper adventure story for the blog. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, there were no breakdowns, no noteworthy interactions with the locals, no terrible weather to complain about.

Rijeka_Piva-1

The only noteworthy event entailed arriving at a campground in the middle of hosting a wedding. The guests were all lovely and brought us food and asked about our journey. Then a drunken man began to haphazardly wield a gun around and shoot bullets into the air.

We’re not really fans of drunk men handling guns. So we left.

Other than that brief instance of excitement, we cruised along, taking in the scenery. In lieu of a tale of our woes from the road, I’ll simply share with you the photos that will entice you to add Montenegro to your cycle touring bucket list.

Sunset over Lake Piva-1
We fell so smitten over Lake Piva that we stayed to watched this sunset an extra day.
I found a Supermoon during Sora's evening walk.
I found a supermoon during Sora’s evening walk.

Supa_Moon_@-1

Climbing and more climbing in Montenegro. Totally worth it.
Climbing and more climbing in Montenegro. Totally worth it.
Wheeeee! Climbing up means flying down.
Wheeeee! Climbing up means flying down.
Our final kilometers before embarking into the unknown of Albania.
Our final kilometers before embarking into the unknown of Albania.
To learn our most up-to-date whereabouts, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We also post our best photos to Instagram. They’ll make you want to get on your bike and tour. Trust us.
Jen Sotolongo

Jen is the Chief Storyteller and Photographer for the Long Haul Trekkers. Born with the travel bug, she has lived in Spain, Chile, and New Zealand. When she’s not galavanting around the world by bicycle, she is running long distances in the woods, exploring nature, or whipping up delicious vegan meals. She is always planning her next adventure.

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